Good morning and greetings, potato latke fans. Well, coming up this week, I’m hitting another milestone along the long and winding road of my life. No, it’s not the 500th sunrise or the 1,000th sunset I’ve shot or my viewing of the season finale of the family friendly “Sons of Anarchy.” No, it’s something even scarier than the every day activities of a Northern California outlaw motorcycle gang involved with the IRA, CIA and Mexican drug cartels. So I’m just going to lay it out there. I’m turning 60.
There, I said it. Six tee. The big six oh. I’ve been trying to avoid this day for a decade, ever since I turned the big five oh. But like turning into your parents, there’s no avoiding it. Even though the number 60 flows out of my mouth as smoothly as cashew butter on a fresh croissant, it’s a painful realization that I’m not getting any younger. Let’s face it, in dog years, I’m dead.
There was little joy in telling people over this past year that I was 59, because that was way too close to the six decades mark. I remember the words of author Hervey Allen, who once said, “The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams, the old servants of regret.” Ironically, Hervey died while taking a shower at age 60. And that is why from now on I’m only going to take bubble baths.
Years ago, Anglo-Irish priest Jonathan Swift lamented, “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” I’m not sure what that says about me, as I wouldn’t mind knocking thirty years off my life resume. And it was either Daniel Day Lewis or Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed, “In the end, it’s not the years that count. It’s the life in your years.” I’m all for living life to the fullest, and that’s why my new HD DVR recorder is able now able to store over two hundred thousand hours of programming. As they say, “Don’t just watch TV, Direct TV.”
The actor George Clooney, who I can’t count the number of times I’ve been mistaken for, once remarked “I’m kind of comfortable with getting older because it’s better than the other option, which is being dead.” On this point I’m in full agreement. They say age is just a number. If I had a choice, I would keep mine unlisted.
Pablo Picasso once tweeted to his friends that “One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.” Hopefully, with my boyish good looks and silver locks, I’ve bucked that trend. He also once said “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” Yes, happiness is all about the simple pleasures. If so, I’d like to live as a Hawaiian man with lots of warm breezes.
Mark Twain wrote that “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” What an interesting thought. Sounds like a TV series on FX. I know that I’m getting older, as I’m no longer the chiseled Adonis I was back in grammar school. I believe it was my rabbi’s wife who said, “You’re aren’t really turning 60. Just 21 with 39 years experience.” That sounds great. If only I didn’t groan like Don Rickles every time I bend down to pick something up. Or in the words of the great Yankee centerfielder Mickey Mantle, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”
But it’s all good, because I have no choice in this aging matter. Or as journalist John P. Grier offered, “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime.” Or as baseball’s Chili Davis put it, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Myself, I’m not really thinking 60, more like $59.95 plus tax.
The ageless baseball player Leroy “Satchel” Paige once quipped, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” So I’m going to take his advice and look at this birthday event as another marker along the freeway of life. After all, sixty is just a number, which at this stage of my life, sounds a whole lot better than seventy, eighty or ninety. So to quote the great philosopher and socialite Paris Hilton, “The way I see it, you should live everyday like it’s your birthday.” That’s sound advice coming from a woman who said it while making a video in her birthday suit.
So here’s the bottom line. I’ll be sixty years old on Wednesday. I’m healthy. I can still hit the open three. Loving family and friends abound. I’ve got a a golden retriever who worships me. So life is good and I am more than blessed. And my accountant says I’ll be able to live off the karmic residuals from writing this blog for decades to come.
For today’s photo entertainment I’m going back to my blonde roots. The first two photos are my favorite sunrise moments taken at Lighthouse Point. Portraying the early morning beauty in the skies above Santa Cruz is one of the reasons I started this blog. The other is that I’m very lonely. Then to mark this milestone occasion we move on to a couple of photos of yours truly in the South Pacific and shrouded in color on the central coast. We then close out the birthday montage with two shots of me and my golden retriever Summer. She’d been hounding me for weeks to include her in this holiday package.
On to a little late night humor. “Today in Washington, President Obama met with leaders of the American Indian tribes and they honored the president by giving him his own Indian name: ‘Running Deficit.’ The CEO of The Cheesecake Factory is now warning that Obamacare will be very costly. Hey, The Cheesecake Factory is one of the reasons we need Obamacare in the first place. Mitt Romney is going back to work. Romney is joining the board of directors at Marriott hotels. See, who says President Obama can’t create jobs? There’s one right there. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s taking steps to run for president in 2016. In fact, this week he’s meeting with donors. He better hope they’re brain donors.” –Jay Leno
“A new book coming out reveals that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was born a Catholic, became a Mormon, then returned to the Catholic church, then became a Baptist, then again returned to the Catholic church. And I think he’s at it again because he’s now asking people to call him Marco Rubinstein. The Obamas have decorated the White House with 54 Christmas trees. It’s all part of their ‘For the last time, we’re not Muslim’ campaign.” –Conan O’Brien
“A lot of dissension among conservatives. One of the leaders of the Tea Party has resigned after a major split in the movement. The Tea Party is now divided between angry whites and even angrier whites.” –Conan O’Brien “A new survey found that ‘Sophia’ and ‘Aiden’ were the most popular baby names this year. The least popular baby name was Kim Jong Sandusky. “McDonald’s just announced that it’s bringing back the McRib later this month. Or, as the Mayans put it, ‘Hey, we tried to warn you.’” –Jimmy Fallon
So that’s the birthday report. Birthday wishes also go out to my old radio partner turned boxing promoter Jerry Hoffman, who celebrates the trip down the birth canal on the same day, 12/12/12. I don’t want to say Jerry is excited about this date, but he has been planning a surprise party for me with cake, ice cream, pony rides and ring card girls ever since the first day we met.
So enjoy the festival of lights that is Hanukah and the parade of latkes, apple sauce and sour cream. We’ll catch you getting off to a great start and surprising everyone with your team’s early season success. Aloha, mahalo and later, New York Knick fans.